May 19, 2016

I could see I didn’t have a belly anymore

Bridget S. first came to Kevitch, Chung & Jan for eyelid surgery to correct her droopy eyelids which were making her look both tired and older than she was. After the wonderful experience she had here with that procedure, she consulted with us again to have a tummy tuck performed to remove the excess skin she had at her belly which was causing her both medical issues and aesthetic concerns. Here is Bridget’s story …

(PART 4 of 7)

“Well, I had my tummy tuck done by Dr. Chung at Coordinated Health over on Cedar Crest Boulevard,” begins Bridget S., recalling the day she had her tummy tuck procedure performed.

“I was the first patient of the day. Dr. Chung came in and asked me again if I had any questions. He put me at ease. He joked around with me. Then he marked my skin that he would be removing. He asked me where I wanted the scar to be — if I wanted it higher or lower based on what kind of bathing suit I wear. He marked me up and told me he’d come back for me in a little bit. That was about it until I woke up afterward. ”

“After surgery, they help you get dressed and you head home. I couldn’t feel anything in my stomach area which was normal. When I got in my house I looked down … and you’re all bound up in a compression garment which keeps everything tight … but I could see I didn’t have a belly any more. The reality hit me. It’s that dramatic and quick.”

“I had to take antibiotics and Dr. Chung gave me a prescription for a painkiller, but I don’t like to take pain meds so I took Advil instead which he said was fine. The important thing he stressed was just to stay on top of the pain which would also help with the swelling. I was driving three days later … and back at work in four days even though Dr. Chung recommended one to two weeks for recovery. It really was not that bad. He said people who are more active recover quicker so I was walking my hallway upstairs as much as I could. Honestly, there really wasn’t too much I couldn’t do. But no exercise for six to eight weeks. ”

“My biggest concern was swelling. I didn’t want to swell up. You have two drains stitched to your body that keep you from swelling up. Looking at the drains I thought they’d be worse than they were. You have to keep emptying them because they get full of liquid constantly. The drains are outside the compression wrap you have to wear 24/7 for a few months and you need to pin them on to your clothes. I pinned them to my clothes when I went back to work and I had the compression garment on and I was fine. My one drain stayed in for a week, the other came out at 10 days. They like to keep them in 1-2 weeks. Dr. Chung takes them out at the post-op appointment about a week after the surgery.”

“I read somewhere where lemon water helps reduce swelling so I drank a lot of lemon water. It worked for me. I’d go to my appointment and point out to Dr. Chung that I was not very swollen and he’d tell me keep drinking the lemon water if I really thought it was working for me. He didn’t fully believe that it helps with the swelling … so it kinda became a joke between us at each appointment. I swelled a little bit. Mostly after I went back to work. Sitting a lot makes your abdomen swell which I did not know at first.”

“I could not wait to see the results!”

Bridget’s tummy tuck story will continue in her next blog post …